Exciting News from EPA

In response the new CSO (Combined Sewer Outfall) control plan “draft scopes”, the EPA has sent letters to MWRA, Somerville, and Cambridge, addressing every single one of our concerns, which are described in our “Alewife Brook Path to Zero Sewage Pollution“.

Photo of Southern Crabapple tree blossom along the Alewife on May 8, 2022 All Rights Reserved / © Tim Bugbee

What is a “draft scope”?
A draft scope is framework for the planning of the new Alewife Brook CSO control plan to eliminate sewage pollution. It’s a plan to create a plan! Somerville and Cambridge and EPA have until December 31, 2023 to finish collaborating on a plan to make improvements to sewage pollution in the Alewife Brook. The draft scope documents are available in our document library here.

In the guidance letters, EPA asked Somerville, Cambridge, and MWRA for:

1. Future climate change impacts to be incorporated into new sewer infrastructure planning and performance models.
2.  An improvement in water quality.
3.  Real public participation in the early stages of planning and throughout.
4.  Flood control measures.
5.  Significant gray and green infrastructure work on DCR property, including at Dilboy Park!
6.  Sewer infrastructure upgrades.
7.  A tiered rate structure to pay for the CSO work, so that the burden doesn’t fall on lower income residents who cannot afford it. 

You can download and read the EPA’s guidance letters here:
Somerville, Cambridge, MWRA

We are absolutely psyched about the EPA’s response – it is clear that they are following Federal policy in response to our input. They are really listening!

This was achieved through Save the Alewife Brook’s working partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association and the Charles River Watershed Association.

And, this was achieved because of your interest and support!

Thank you!

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